Manafa’a 2021 Program Opens Registration

The program attracts innovative ideas in the use of biodiversity and genetic resources and develops them into businesses Starting from Sunday (June 6) and for two months, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MoHERI), welcomes applications for the Manafa’a program 2021. Organized for the fourth year in a row, this year's program is jointly organized by Mawarid (Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Center) and the Environment Authority. It is implemented within a strategic partnership with the Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer at Sultan Qaboos University and Falha Investment Company, and is sponsored by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and Oman India Fertilizer Company (OMIFCO). This year’s Manafa’a program comes under the theme ‘The National Initiative to Plant Ten Million Trees’. Manafa’a program this year aims to support this national environmental initiative, encourage innovative ideas that will contribute towards the embodiment of the initiative on the ground, and maximize its environmental, educational and economic benefits, through attracting biodiversity and genetic resources-based innovative ideas and transforming them into real creative economic projects on the ground. These ideas are welcomed from Omanis and residents of Oman including entrepreneurs, researchers, environmentalists, programmers, creators, marketers, and others. Those interested to participate can submit their applications through the Mawarid’s website (www.oapgrc.gov.om) latest by August 8. Application conditions include that an applicant must be an Omani or a resident in Oman aging above 18 years old, the team must be between two to four members. Conditions also include that any team members who won in the previous two cycles of Manafa’a program, may not apply, and that ideas must be realistic, applicable, innovative, and not subject to intellectual property rights. The genetic resources used must be genuine and recorded in Oman. Areas of Manafa’a program may include smart agriculture and production systems, applications of artificial intelligence and modern irrigation systems, organic fertilizer products, natural cosmetic products and natural hygiene products, medical and pharmaceutical products, natural products and supplements, clean energy production, pesticide products and organic control, organic cleaning products and natural waste recycling products, organic plastic products and organic paints and compounds. It is worth mentioning that the ‘The National Initiative to Plant Ten Million Trees’, launched by the Environment Authority and the Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) aims to protect biodiversity in Oman, restore wildlife habitats, increase green areas, combat land degradation, create economic benefits for local communities, and raise environmental awareness on the importance of plants in sustaining the natural resources.

Manafa’a 2021 Program Opens Registration

Ideathon helps conservation-minded entrepreneurs create value from Oman’s genetic resources
Muscat – As excitement builds amongst Oman’s would-be eco-entrepreneurs ahead of Manafa’a Ideathon 2019, the Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Centre (OAPGRC) has announced the companies and organisations who have come on board to support the event and help Oman’s talent respond to the center’s annual challenge to develop genetic resource based businesses.
The main sponsors for the two-days event are the Oman LNG Development Foundation, Oman Fisheries Company and Meethaq Islamic Bank will be the Manafa’a financial sponsor. In addition, partnering with OAPGRC for the event will be Sultan Qaboos University through The Innovation & Technology Transfer Center along with Outward Bound Oman.
Thanking the sponsors and partners for their backing of Manafa’a and involvement in helping unlock the business potential of the ideathon participants, OAPGRC Executive Director Dr. Nadiya Al Saady said: “The Manafa’a Team is gratified by the confidence these eco-aware companies and organisations have placed in the value of genetic resources as the foundation for successful business.”
The Executive Director added: “Manafa’a is a great learning experience for those that take part but its purpose is absolutely serious. We want to encourage responsible use of Oman’s genetic resources - our plants, animals, marine life and microbial world – to create value for society and to contribute to the diversification of the economy. Our treasure chest of genetic resources can offer the world new medicines and therapies. On top of this the genetic make-up of Oman’s hardy, heat and drought resistant wild varieties of animals and crops offering hope for alleviating the threats to food security presented by climate change.”
“But that’s not all. For our young people, our genetic wealth holds opportunities for business creation and the generation of lasting and rewarding jobs with fields such as pharmaceuticals, organic cosmetics, food, environmental engineering, alternative energy, and eco-tourism showing particular promise. Through Manafa’a we hope to create the successful conservation-minded enterprises that will open the eyes of many other innovators and entrepreneurs to the rich potential our genetic resources hold.”
Applications to take part in Manafa’a 2019 were received from governorates across the sultanate. Fifteen teams have now been selected to take part in the ideathon and develop their ideas. This year’s participants will be developing eight plant and three animal genetic resources based business concepts with two marine life and two microbial world proposals also being taken forward.
To find out more about Manafa’a 2019, please visit https://oapgrc.gov.om/Pages/MANAFI.aspx or follow @oapgrc to see updates on the event.

15 teams are geared up to compete in Manafa’a Ideathon 2019

Muscat – A total of 15 teams will be competing in the biodiversity ideathone,
Manafa’a Ideathon 2019, which will be organized by Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Centre (OAPGRC) from September 27 to 28 at Grand Millennium Muscat.
In order to equip the teams with all the skills required for the competition, OAPGRC held a workshop last Saturday (September 21) to introduce the participants to intellectual property and innovation protection, transfer of capabilities into products, and start-up marketing.
The contesting teams will be given 48 hours to prepare their ideas and presentations that they will be presented to the judge on September 29. The winning teams will be announced on October 1 at the Institute for Oil and Gas (InstOG).
Manafa’a aims to encourage responsible use of Oman’s genetic resources - our plants, animals, marine life and microbial world– to create value for society and contribute to the diversification of the economy.
Manafa’a Ideathon 2019 is mainly sponsored by Oman LNG Development Foundation, Oman Fisheries Company and Meethaq Islamic Bank that will be the Manafa’a financial sponsor. In addition, Sultan Qaboos University will be partnering with OAPGRC through The Innovation & Technology Transfer Center along with Outward Bound Oman.

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